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Obama Shoots for an Ohio Win with a Final Day in the State

By Shailagh Murray
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Seeking to lock down a big electoral prize, Sen. Barack Obama is spending a full day of the two that remain in Ohio, a state that has taunted Democrats for the past two election cycles.

Campaign officials are confident that their ground game here is far more potent than the organization John Kerry fielded four years ago, when he lost Ohio to President Bush, 51 percent to 49 percent, or the one Gore had when he was bested by Bush by 4 points in 2000. The Obama team is relieved that polls show the race tied, at worst, or with the Democratic nominee holding a narrow lead.

As the electoral map shrinks during these final hours, the Buckeye State has become a must-win for John McCain. But should Obama succeed here, Ohio could be one of his most resonant victories, reversing the pattern of the Kerry and Gore defeats and undermining the significance of his own loss to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton here during the primary. That defeat underscored Obama's struggles with working-class white voters.

"We are two days away from changing America and it's going to start right here in the great state of Ohio," Obama told the estimated 60,000 people who gathered downtown on a mild Sunday afternoon. With the help of warm-up act Bruce Springsteen, he is expected a huge crowd in Cleveland later today, and will make a final stop tonight in Cincinnati.

Tomorrow, Obama will campaign in Jacksonville, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Manassas, Va., before returning late Monday night to Chicago.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 2, 2008; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Battlegrounds  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain to Return to New Hampshire Town Full of Memories
Next: McCain in Pennsylvania: I'm a 'Coal Booster'

Comments

Obama is a dangerously ignorant, completely shallow, arrogant, platitude-spouting, inexperienced, Marxist, drug-addicted, elitist, narcissistic, flip-flopping gas-bag who is so mentally deficient from extensive drug use he even has to plagiarize his hollow platitudes.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 3, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a dangerously ignorant, completely shallow, arrogant, platitude-spouting, inexperienced, Marxist, drug-addicted, elitist, narcissistic, flip-flopping gas-bag who is so mentally deficient from extensive drug use he even has to plagiarize his hollow platitudes.

.

Posted by: Billw3 | November 3, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"How can anyone who is not a millionaire cheer John McCain, who has said he wants to extend the tax breaks for the wealthiest instead of returning the tax for them to what it was during the Clinton administration, as Obama proposes?"
BettyW1

Betty, I know ten thousand or more coal miners in West Virginia this morning who are waking up to read the Spectator and none are millionaires, yet all are questioning any support they may have had for Obama.
Bill Clinton said in 1988 that removing the cap on social secutity taxes was "regressive...no one wants to." THAT'S Exactly what Obama wants to do- it will hurt small business. Obama cleverly claims that 98% of small businesses make under 250k and therefore won't be hurt. He conveniently leaves out the fact that ALL SMALL businesses are included in his figure- EBAY sellers who work at home by themselves, for example. 50% of all small business INCOME will suffer additional heavy taxes due to Obama's unprecidented move.
His "most aggressive cap and trade policy"- his words- will put tens of thousands of coal workers out of work across the country- New Mexico, Colorado, W. Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Virginis. WHO WILL EMPLOY THESE PEOPLE? THE SMALL BUSINESSES WHO ARE BEING MORE HEAVILY TAXED?

The NY Times last week covered the horrible jobs picture in Rhode Island- 8.8% unemployment as the state with the highest cumulative business taxes-

Wake up Betty, don't cut off your nose to spite your face, by voting for Obama in order to "stick it" to Exxon/Mobile and in turn ruining the entire job creating small and medium sized business sector in our great country.

Millionaires, like Penny Pritzker and Barbara Streisand can AFFORD to support Obama Betty- we can't.

Posted by: thecannula | November 3, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse


McCain supporters talk about "Obama doesn't 'Add Up'"...

What doesn't "ADD UP" is that someone would vote for the same political party that has DEMONSTRATED that they are IRRESPONSIBLE LEADERS.

Our economy is in the hole, respect for the US dollar has fallen, our military is transparent to our enemies, our beloved Constitution has been assaulted, and now the same party is picking on little old ladies and whining about their tax bill.

Save OUR Country and Constitution from the PROVEN FAILURE of the Republican Party

VOTE Obama Nov 4

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | November 3, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania and Virginia are the two major coal producing states which do not have early voting...wonder how Obama's boasting, that his, the most aggressive cap and trade policy will bankrupt coal plants, will go over on Tuesday, given that it's bad for jobs, bad for energy independence, bad for affordable electricity, and bad for Virginia's and Pennsylvania's families? (not too great for Ohio's families either)

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

AndrearKline:

Apology accepted. We'll see who is right in a couple days.

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The West Virginia Record
11-2-08

The senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association called Obama's comments "unbelievable."

"His comments are unfortunate," Chris Hamilton said Sunday, "and really reflect a very uninformed voice and perspective to coal specifically and energy generally."

Hamilton noted other times Obama and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden have made seemingly anti-coal statements.

"In Ohio recently, when Joe Biden said 'not here' about building coal-fired power plants -- this is exactly what will happen," Hamilton said. "Financing won't be directed here. It will all go aboard for plants elsewhere in the world. The United Sates is importing more coal today from Indonesia, South Africa and Colombia than we ever have.

"If we're going to create a situation where coal-fired power plants are at that much of a disadvantage, there will be new ones built. But as Biden said, just not here."

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's state director said Obama's statements are troubling, especially for West Virginians.

"I think this clearly shows the attitude the Obama-Biden ticket has toward coal," Ben Beakes(Chief of Staff, WV Secretary of State's Office)said Sunday. "Rhetoric is cheap, but behind closed doors what they tell their supporters - that's what we have to take as gospel.

"They're definitely not friends of coal."

Beakes noted other examples of Obama and Biden making seemingly anti-coal statements, such as in February when Obama said he'd like to tax "dirty energy" such as coal and natural gas.

"And their cohorts in Congress make similar statements," Beakes said. "(Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said this summer that 'coal makes us sick.'

"This is an attitude and view that, to me, shows their hatred of coal. And therefore, their view would cost West Virginians thousands upon thousands of jobs."

Beakes touted McCain's view toward coal.

"John McCain has embraced coal," Beakes said. "He doesn't agree with everything in the coal industry, but his view of coal is positive. He will make it part of his energy policy. He's met with leaders in the coal industry and let them know that. He's sought advice from coal industry leaders.

"McCain understands that coal supports about 49 percent of our electricity in this country. He'll continue to make coal important. He wants to reduce our foreign dependency on oil."

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm a middle aged guy- many years to work- I believe in paying my fair share- I would not complain about a rise in my income tax during this economic crisis....BUT Obama is proposing something way beyond that- his wanting to "spread the wealth around" includes removing the payroll tax cap on Soc. security taxes, a move which Democratic Economic hero Bill Clinton called "Regressive" because it is regressive...the more a small business owner profits, the more she's taxed...it will lead to layoffs in my business and in many many others. Obama wants to send my additional tax dollars to those who currently pay no income tax....and he will have more and more former employees to send checks to. He also will raise business taxes- which we will all pay. He doesn't care- he supports corn ethanol which helps Illinois farmers, makes us all pay higher food prices, and does nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil- uses one unit petrol for every one it saves.

So, he's obviously more motivated by what's best for Barack Obama than what's best for America...and IF you're supporting him, he's obviously also successful in fooling you and those like you.


Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"Clinging to Guns and Religion"-
BHO in SFrancisco

Closing the deal-
(IBD/TIPP @2- Most Accurate in 2004
NBC/Mason Dixon- McCain leading NC/Ohio/Mo)

By Salena Zito
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, November 2, 2008

The narrative of this historic presidential election has come down to which candidate will close the deal and win the trust of Pennsylvania voters.

From the outside looking in, Pennsylvania has become a metaphor for all that is wrong with our country when it comes to race -- especially those of its Democrats who are soft on or wary of Barack Obama.

Yet on the inside, Pennsylvania is far from its broad-brush portrayal as racist. It is not the color of the candidate; it is the culture he represents.

Say what you will, Obama's "spread the wealth" tongue-slip hit home here.

Most Pennsylvania Democrats who live outside of Philadelphia are very Midwestern in their values and their votes.

If they lose their jobs, they go out and get two more to make up for the loss. They do not take handouts and they don't whine; they provide for themselves and their families.

Their voting patterns and other traditions passed along to their sons and daughter will help to decide this election.


"In an odd way, many liberals are tone-deaf about normal people, who worship God, country, sports and their communities and don't care all that much about politics," says former Villanova political scientist Bob Maranto.

Maranto says what's causing Pennsylvania voters to give Obama a second look goes beyond Obama's "share the wealth" notion: "They are suspicious of him and his Ivy League buddies who have never run anything in their lives (but) that now want to run the country."

He adds that "it is all in the arrogance."

Liberal Democrats often have a hard time in this state because they don't understand why voters in poor, rural areas don't "vote their pocketbooks." Frankly, these are not very materialistic people; if you live in Johnstown or in Elk County and you care that much about money, then you will leave for better opportunities in the big city.

People who stay behind don't care as much about money as they care about their families or communities.

To ambitious politicians such as Obama or running mate Joe Biden, that's just crazy; they can't imagine folks who care more about family or community than about getting ahead.

Much the same can be said for the Pittsburgh region, where many people live within a few miles of where they grew up.

Who will close the deal in Pennsylvania? The polls say Obama; the pundits, too.

Let's see what the voters say.

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I was in Columbus today.. In my 65 years I have never seen such a rally that was held in Columbus today for Obama. There had to be at least 60,000 there.. There were lines stretched for blocks waiting to get into the front of the Capitol building. People showed up at 7:00AM to get in line waiting for the gates to open at 11:00 and for Obama to speak at 1:00.. Everyone was in good spirits dispite the long wait.

Posted by: satchnthesaint | November 2, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Jake
Obama will certainly take Pennsylvania and very likely Virginia.

Posted by: AndrearKline | November 2, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c
.


The only question is, would this country survive it?


You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, Pa and Virgina etc, if you are stupid enough to vote for McCain you will deserve every single bit of economic hardship that a McCain presidency will give you.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxT0s_I5WtA
.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 2, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Hang On Sloopy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oPiBSktp6M

Change we need
Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: cooday | November 2, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

McCain knows all about bailing out rich bankers and screwing over middle class and poor people, he's been doing it for years.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAzDEbVFcg8
.


*McCain - Founding Member of the Keating 5


McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.


Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)


McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."


McCain was not convicted of any crimes, though the Senate concluded that he exercised "poor judgment." (Furthermore, he got off on some charges by a technicality -- that he was still in the House when he took those vacation trips, and so the Senate couldn't prosecute him. The House concluded that THEY couldn't prosecute him because he had moved to the Senate.)


Here's some mavericky straight talk, my friends:
.
http://www.realchange.org/mccain.htm
.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 2, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Our economy is structurally sound for the long term"
*George W Bush - Feb 11, 2008


"The American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system"
*Henry Paulson - Sept 15, 2008


"The economy is fundamentally sound"
*Herbert Hoover - October, 1931


"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"
*John McCain - Sept 15, 2008
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnb2IrsU1Cg
.


McCain does not have the ability to fix this economic crisis. After declaring the fundamentals of the economy strong, he created a political circus in Washington by mucking up bailout negotiations; a deplorable campaign stunt, considering he and his political cronies helped cause the current meltdown.


It was McCain and his economic adviser Phil Gramm who pushed for the deregulation that helped lead to the banking crisis, and it was McCain's crony Rick Davis who had deep lobbyist ties to Freddie Mac. Don't let others be fooled by McCain's economic grandstanding because the reality is his policies and principles will only exacerbate our financial hardships.


McCain is being deceitful with his sudden populist message and support for regulation; his economic policies still favor our nation's wealthy elite.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4egXbhSOhk
.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 2, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama is winning Ohio. Blackwell isn't there to fudge the numbers this year.

They can lie, cheat and steal on Wall Street. Diebold can promise to deliver elections to Republicans all they want, but Obama is winning Ohio this time around.

There's not enough racism in America to make up for the reckless, cynical and inept campaign that McCain ran.

Posted by: jrob822 | November 2, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Urgent Plea mccain voters....

Please mount cameras in your homes on election night and broadcast on webcam so that we silly Obama socialists can see the agony on your pathetic stupid ignorant racist hillbilly faces as state after state go to President Elect Obama....

Please....

Posted by: pgiaquinto | November 2, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

This whole debate about socialism is really pretty funny. After all, Reagan (with the S&L bailout) and Bush (with the entire Wall Street bailout) gave us socialism for the wealthy and entitled, while all of the rest of us in real America have been forced to live with Reagan and Bush's notions of the "free market" which seems to mean that we will NEVER be bailed out, largely because we didn't give enough in campaign contributions to the Republican Party. Nice. I think America has finally caught on to this little trick that the Republicans have played on us.

Posted by: osullivanc1 | November 2, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA'S ECONOMIC TROUBLES!
McCain in April 08 declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and economic adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, is back with the McCain campaign full time again.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay. McCain doesn't understand our tanking economy because it doesn't affect him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek3jAkx9m10

The $100 Million Man
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

The Anheuser-Busch Windfall
While John McCain played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxT0s_I5WtA
.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 2, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I am registered Independent too.

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

ELECTION ODE

Barack Obama-Joe Biden,
are the people's choice for '08,
'cause the country's at risk,
and we've gotta play it straight.

And then in 2012,
we will re-elect that ticket
to finish whate'er remains
to get the USA out of the thicket.

And in 2016, who knows what's in store.
For those of us who believe in redemption...
Maybe a repentant Sarah Palin will lead
the GOP, in a more hopeful direction.

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | November 2, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I know, I know, the size of the crowd doesn't matter & the kids just go to Obama rallies to hook up & they might not vote. But yesterday McCain drew 10,000 in Columbus, Ohio (with an assist from Arnold Schwartzenegger) & today Obama drew 60,000 in the SAME CITY (picture on RealityChex.com at http://www.realitychex.com , while Palin drew 3,000 in Canton, Ohio.

Maybe size DOES matter. We'll find out soon enough.

Posted by: marieburns | November 2, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm an independent voter who has pulled the lever for both parties. But until the GOP stops catering to the fears and hatreds of failures like JakeD, they will never get my vote.

Posted by: jimestw | November 2, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

thegwoe:

Are you still around?

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

At least he's not "racist" : )

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Republican social Darwinisn has led to a regression into primitivism that has become self perpetuating.

Posted by: rooster54 | November 2, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Alan Keys is the most extreme nut case in politics. If Hitler came back as black man, he'd be Alan Keys.

Posted by: rooster54 | November 2, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I am not running for office. Second, it's MOORE. Now, how can I be a "racist" if I said I would gladly vote for a pro-life African American, for instance Alan Keyes?

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Of course JakeD is a racist, he doesn't use his middle name, as if the middle name your parents gave you had some fortune telling significance... in all CAPS they are just paranoid nuts with too much time...

Posted by: thegwoe | November 2, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Sunday, November 02, 2008
Gateway Pundit
EXPLOSIVE NEW AUDIO-- Obama Promises San Francisco Audience He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry!!

OBAMA TOLD A SAN FRANCISCO AUDIENCE THAT HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY!!!

ATTN: Coal states Virginia , OHIO, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Indiana, guess what Obama told San Francisco about you?

OBAMA TELLS SAN FRANCISCO HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY:

from his talk to the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008:


"Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It's just that it will bankrupt them."


This goes hand-in-hand with what he's said about nuclear energy.
His preconditions make it impossible to expand nuclear energy at this time.
From The Wall Street Journal:


On nuclear power, Sen. Obama says he's open to expanding nuclear energy, which now provides 20% of the nation's electricity, as part of an effort to increase power sources that emit little or no carbon dioxide. But he also has said there is no future for expanded nuclear energy until the U.S. comes up with a safe, long-term solution for disposing of nuclear waste. He opposes the Bush administration's plan for storing waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

No, I am a trivia buff and use John SIDNEY McCain / Sarah LOUISE Palin's middle names too. Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Jesus didn't carry a gun, and people who clung to religion persecuted him.

JakeD- What's the deal with the middle name fixation? Are you a racist?

Do we brag about the courage of our citezenry, then turn around and try to scare people into retreating to the failed policies of McBush because of Barack's name. Ridiculous.

Scare us all you want. MCCAINITES SEEK TO BRING OUT THE WORST IN US THROUGH FEAR.

Hey! "McCain" is derived from "Cain" who murdered his brother, Abel, and then disrespectfully smarted off to God about not being his brother's keeper. How appropriate!

Posted by: rooster54 | November 2, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

November 2, 2008


Day 21: IBD/TIPP Tracking Poll


The race tightened again Sunday as independents who'd been leaning to Obama shifted to McCain to leave that key group a toss-up. McCain also pulled even in the Midwest, moved back into the lead with men, padded his gains among Protestants and Catholics, and is favored for the first time by high school graduates.

Date McCain Obama Not Sure Spread Details
11/2 44.6% 46.7% 8.7% Obama +2.1 View
11/1 43.4% 47.9% 8.7% Obama +4.5 View
10/31 43.8% 48.2% 8.0% Obama +4.4 View

"Most Accurate Pollster Of The Campaign Season"

An analysis of Final Certified Results for the 2004 election showed TIPP was the most accurate pollster of the campaign season, coming within three-tenths of a percentage point of Bush’s actual margin of victory. Learn more at www.TIPPonline.com.

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"Clinging to Guns and Religion"-
BHO in SFrancisco

Closing the deal-
(IBD/TIPP @2- Most Accurate in 2004
NBC/Mason Dixon- McCain leading NC/OHIO/Mo)

By Salena Zito
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, November 2, 2008

The narrative of this historic presidential election has come down to which candidate will close the deal and win the trust of Pennsylvania voters.

From the outside looking in, Pennsylvania has become a metaphor for all that is wrong with our country when it comes to race -- especially those of its Democrats who are soft on or wary of Barack Obama.

Yet on the inside, Pennsylvania is far from its broad-brush portrayal as racist. It is not the color of the candidate; it is the culture he represents.

Say what you will, Obama's "spread the wealth" tongue-slip hit home here.

Most Pennsylvania Democrats who live outside of Philadelphia are very Midwestern in their values and their votes.

If they lose their jobs, they go out and get two more to make up for the loss. They do not take handouts and they don't whine; they provide for themselves and their families.

Their voting patterns and other traditions passed along to their sons and daughter will help to decide this election.


"In an odd way, many liberals are tone-deaf about normal people, who worship God, country, sports and their communities and don't care all that much about politics," says former Villanova political scientist Bob Maranto.

Maranto says what's causing Pennsylvania voters to give Obama a second look goes beyond Obama's "share the wealth" notion: "They are suspicious of him and his Ivy League buddies who have never run anything in their lives (but) that now want to run the country."

He adds that "it is all in the arrogance."

Liberal Democrats often have a hard time in this state because they don't understand why voters in poor, rural areas don't "vote their pocketbooks." Frankly, these are not very materialistic people; if you live in Johnstown or in Elk County and you care that much about money, then you will leave for better opportunities in the big city.

People who stay behind don't care as much about money as they care about their families or communities.

To ambitious politicians such as Obama or running mate Joe Biden, that's just crazy; they can't imagine folks who care more about family or community than about getting ahead.

Much the same can be said for the Pittsburgh region, where many people live within a few miles of where they grew up.

Who will close the deal in Pennsylvania? The polls say Obama; the pundits, too.

Let's see what the voters say.

Posted by: thecannula | November 2, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Ohio is a real uphill battle for Obama. He can afford to lose it if Pennsylvania hangs steady and he ins there.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 2, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not win Ohio (or Pennsylvania ; )

Posted by: JakeD | November 2, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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